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2011 In Review – A Look Back at the Cases and Legislative Changes that Impacted Your Workplace

2011 saw a number of important decisions and legislative changes in the area of labour and employment law.    Over the course of the year, CCP blogged these developments and in this blog we provide our “top 10” cases and the most significant legislative changes of the past year with links to our previous blogs.  Enjoy!!

Top Labour and Employment Cases of 2011

  1. R. v. Cole – The Ontario Court of Appeal weighs in on an employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace where private information is stored on the employer’s computer equipment used by the employee in the course of employment.  Continue Reading

  3. Ontario (Attorney General) v. Fraser – The Supreme Court of Canada rejects the notion that “freedom of association” enshrined in the Charter requires labour legislation be interpreted as providing traditional or any particular model of collective bargaining.    Continue Reading

  5. Chem-Trend Limited Partnership v. Mason – On January 12, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Chem-Trend’s application for leave to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision that a global restrictive covenant preventing a former employee from working for or soliciting business from Chem-Trend’s customers was unenforceable as an unreasonable restraint of trade.  Continue Reading

  7. Love v. Acuity Investment – ­ Short service does not always mean a shorter common law notice period.  The Court of Appeal awarded a senior vice president with 2.5 years’ service 9 months’ salary in overturning the trial judge’s award of 5 months.  Continue Reading

  9. Blue Mountain Resorts Limited v. Ontario  - The Ontario Divisional Court imposes an obligation on employers to report critical injuries of  “non-workers” (in this case a guest) to the Ministry of Labour where the injury has occurred in any part of an employer’s premises that can be considered “the workplace” (in this case the resort’s guest swimming pool).   Leave to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal was granted in December 2011.  Continue Reading

  11. Di Tomaso v. Crown Metal – The Ontario Court of Appeal confirms that there is no “hard cap” on the amount of common law notice a court can award a dismissed employee regardless of the character of employment.  Continue Reading

  13. Brito et al v. Canac Kitchens – Failing to continue disability coverage during the common law notice period assessed by the courts results in 200K award to a former employee who became disabled during the notice period.   Continue Reading

  15. Kingston (City) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees – Discharge for just cause is an appropriate response where an employee utters a death threat and accepts no responsibility for her actions notwithstanding 28 years’ service with the employer in the post-Bill 168 workplace.  Continue Reading

  17. British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board) v. Figliola – The Supreme Court of Canada takes a strong stand against parties “re-litigating” issues in holding that human rights tribunals do not have jurisdiction to “review” decisions of other tribunals.  Continue Reading

  19. North Bay General Hospital v. Ontario Nurses Association – An investigation report prepared by a law firm retained only for the purpose of investigating does not attract solicitor-client privilege.   Continue Reading

    Top Legislative Changes

    1. Bill 160, which received Royal Assent on June 1, 2011, represents a significant overhaul of Ontario’s health and safety and workplace safety and insurance systems.   The new legislation calls for increased worker training and the creation of programs and policies in the area of health and safety.  Continue Reading

    3.  New WSIB policies on work reintegration and NEER.  Continue Reading

    5.  Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).  In June 2011 the Integrated Accessibility Regulation was passed by the government which will require most employers to have accessible workplaces for people with disabilities through the entire cycle of employment.  In addition, effective January 1, 2012, all employers in Ontario will be required to have individualized emergency response plans for employees with disabilities.  Continue Reading

    7. Family Caregiver Leave (Employment Standards Act).  Introduced in late 2011, this legislative amendment, if passed, will grant employees in Ontario with up to eight (8) weeks of unpaid leave to care for family members and relatives suffering from a serious medical condition. Continue Reading

      Please Note: This blog has been prepared as an informational service for our clients and other interested parties. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, a complete statement of the law or opinion on any subject. Although we endeavour to ensure the accuracy of the content, no one should act upon the information provided without a thorough examination of the law after the facts of a specific situation are fully considered.



      Crawford Chondon & Partners LLP is committed to providing an inclusive workplace that embraces and respects differences.  We support and promote the ongoing development, implementation and maintenance of best practices and strategies to enhance and improve equality, diversity and inclusion within the Firm, in advising clients and in the greater community. Click to learn more about our Diversity and Inclusion 

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